Climate change data

  • The extent of urban ecological homogenization depends on how humans build, inhabit, and manage cities. Morphological and socio-economic facets of neighborhoods can drive the homogenization of forest cover, thus affecting urban ecological and hydrological processes, and ecosystem services. Recent evidence, however, suggests that the same biophysical drivers differentiating composition and structure of natural forests can further counteract the homogenization of urban forests. We hypothesize that climate can differentiate forest structure across residential macrosystems, regional-to-continental discontinuous systems of urban land. To test this hypothesis, forest structure (tree and shrub cover and volume) was measured using LiDAR data and multispectral imagery across a residential macrosystem composed of 9 cities, 1503 neighborhoods, and 1.4 million residential parcels. Cities were selected along a potential evapotranspiration (PET) gradient in the conterminous United States, ranging from the colder continental climate of Fargo, North Dakota (PET = 66.21 mm) to the hotter subtropical climate of Tallahassee, Florida (PET = 160.49 mm). The relative effects of climate, urban morphology, and socio-economic variables on residential forest structure were assessed by using generalized linear models. Climate differentiated forest structure of the residential macrosystem as hypothesized.

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